Why foster with us

Support and training

We are committed to providing our foster carers with excellent support and high levels of training.  Currently we offer our carers in excess of 60+ courses each year across a variety of subjects to support foster carers practice and in doing so, aid the outcomes for our children in care.

As you are approved to Foster you will be given a Training & Development Portfolio for completion, for which training and support will be provided to assist you. This will require completion in your first year of fostering and is a mandatory requirement for all foster carers in the UK.

We offer our carers a variety of support throughout their fostering career, including a New Foster Carers support group, a Diversity support group, and a wider Fostering Network monthly meeting. We also offer new carers a fostering buddy for their first year of approval, as well as professional and nurturing monthly supervision from your own allocated Supervising Social Worker. We also offer out of hours support to our carers, and this is manned only by our in-team fostering staff.

We are always talking to our current foster carers and are open to ideas about redesigning our support and training services to ensure that they are what foster carers want.

Financial benefits

Whilst money is not everything, we are committed to ensuring that our foster carers are paid enough to cover the costs involved in looking after a child. 

You could receive up to £700 per child, per week and be caring for up to three children.

The exact amount paid to each foster carer is calculated on an individual basis according to the age of the children.

Foster carers community

The Mockingbird Family Model

Barking and Dagenham Council were one of the first London Boroughs to adopt The Mockingbird Family Model (MFM), an alternative way of providing foster care.

It involves foster carers being part of a group (Constellation) with other foster carers who are described as satellite foster carers; they are supported by a mockingbird hub home carer who provides resources and support for up to ten satellite carers who live locally.

The hub home carer and the satellite carers are all supported by the LBBD fostering service which provides someone to act as a mockingbird liaison worker.


How the hub home is chosen

The hub home carer needs to be an experienced and skilled foster carer with the motivation to build a community. Hub home carers are trained by specially accredited Mockingbird trainers from The Fostering Network. The hub home carer is required to have two spare bedrooms available specifically for the children and young people in their constellation.

Satellite carers are invited to join a constellation; referrals are taken from fostering social workers as well as children’s social workers who first must discuss the concept of the model with carers. Satellite carers will usually live relatively near to their hub home carer and must be committed to actively engaging with their constellation.

The aim is for the constellation to replicate the variations of types of families and age ranges of children that operate within an average extended family.

Support provided by the hub home carer

The support provided through the hub home includes:

  • planned and emergency respite care 24/7
  • monthly social events for families providing peer interaction and support for caregivers, children and young people
  • unlimited access to social support and mentoring for satellite carers
  • help to navigate the system and access community resources

The hub home carer can also provide a neutral environment for shared decision-making meetings, social worker visits, sibling and birth family visits, as well as critical support to social workers by problem solving, and so increasing safety, well-being, and permanency.

A key feature of the MFM is that it helps to take good care of the people who take care of children and young people.

Aims of the project

The aims of the MFM are to increase placement stability for children who are looked after, prioritise sibling connections, promote active child protection, support permanency and improve the support provided to foster carers so that the local authority can retain foster carers.

The model was developed in Washington State, USA and is based on the concept of extended family. The model is evidence-based, has been formally evaluated and shows improved outcomes for children, young people and foster carers.